President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has praised the people of Sebei sub region for their role in defeating the Save Uganda Forces (SUF), a rebel movement that had surfaced in the area between 2012 and 2017.
Museveni’s remarks were delivered during an orientation, training and commissioning session for NRM mobilizers, from the three districts of Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwo, organised and facilitated by the Milly Babirye Babalanda-led team from the Kyambogo office of the NRM National Chairman (ONC).
Also present were members from the different security organs led by the Regional Police Commander Commissioner Martin Mbabazi who assured participants the area was free from any security threats as the country heads into an election period.
Museveni’s message was read by his Personal Assistant Babalanda, who was also the keynote speaker for the day. The NRM National Chairman noted that their cooperation with security forces had served to avert unnecessary bloodshed which would have claimed many innocent lives.
He promised that his Government shall at all times work tirelessly to ensure optimum security as a conduit for development in the country.
SUF rebels popped up at the start of 2012 where hundreds of youths were mobilized by a one Julius Chelimo with the goal of causing regime change through use of force.
Chelimo is a former UPDF officer who had left the force disappointed and opted to preach rebellion to the young people in the area, consequently forming a rebel movement.
Insurgents started by attacking the Regional Police Headquarters in Kapchorwa Town and took off with a number of military hardware. They would later on set up bases in the ElgOn National Park from where they continued terrorizing the population.
Around 2017, the Government engaged the group and offered amnesty to its leader and many of the fighters, paving the way for the return of relative peace in the area.
Ephraim Denis Balwanirawa, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) for Kween, says that by the time the group sought amnesty, it had been fought by the national army to near extinction.
Balwanirawa notes that there has over time been a reemergence of hostilities from the group, occasionally attacking and killing people in the area, stealing animals and selling them across the Kenyan boarder to fund their subversion.
Sometime last year, the group is believed to have hacked and burnt to ashes one person believed to have been a member of their criminal gang.
He was reportedly accused of selling arms he was required to keep. The operation was reportedly led by a one Joshua who was believed to have taken over the leadership of the rebel outfit.
Joshua has since been arrested over murder in Kapchorwa and the case was taken over by UPDF since it involved the use of guns.
Regional security leaders have resolved to pacify the Elgon National park where remnants of the criminal outfit have their bases, according to Balwanirawa
On her part, Babalanda tipped the Coordinators on hard work, and transparency since the duty given to them was a voluntary one.
She also tasked them to endeavor to market party Presidential Candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni while also preaching the four core values of NRM: patriotism, pan Africanism, Democracy and social transformation.
The group was officially commissioned to spearhead the village-based door-to-door model where a subordinate mobilization structure would follow from the district to village level.